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What Makes or Breaks a Bag: Fabric

Posted by Edward Wang on
What Makes or Breaks a Bag: Fabric

Why does the material a bag is made from important?

How a bag looks on your back is definitely one of the defining factors for us when purchasing a bag here at UrbanCred but there is more than just that. That is what this series is all about. To give you some more thought about what you should consider going into the purchase of the bag. Today, we're going to take a look at the material your bag is made of. 

When you were younger in grade school, the bag didn't matter much. It held your books, it was affordable, maybe it came in your favorite color or maybe it was the special ones that rolled on wheels and had Batman on it. (Those were very cool.) If your bag got soaked, great! No more homework. 

Yet those were simpler times. Now with those times mostly behind us, life nowadays can place us in situations or environments that are less than ideal. Flash floods, sleet, torrents of rain, blizzards, those days of bags made of just canvas don't cut it anymore. Depending on what you use your bag for or where you're living, the material used for the bag is very important. Rain, snow, hail can affect you in different ways. It all depends on your situation and/or where you're going. 

In addition, the price tag of the bag will be affected mostly by the type of material. The more common materials require less work and effort to mold into a bag (except for leather of course) while the more specialty ones require layers upon layers of threading to create. Below we have listed a few materials that can make a difference when deciding on a bag.

Common Materials

Leather, canvas, and nylon are the most widely used and seen on the market.

Canvas bags are great for casual use or to the gym. How long they last depend on how the user uses the bag. They generally last a few years but within that time period, the wear and tear will be obvious if heavily used. Most cheaper bags will rip, sag and just look outright depressing! That isn't to say there aren't high-quality canvas bags though. Those ones will last longer still but won't hold up to intense weather and usage.

Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels


Leather is gorgeous and ages with you but doesn't hold up well in harsh environments. The patina will give it a personality and it ages really well but can't take rain, snow, sleet and the like. It'll likely leave a permanent stain. Leather is also a heavier material than most; so having a lot to carry may make it uncomfortable choice.

Photo by from Pexels

Specialty Materials

When you are commuting constantly or staying in a place with heavy changes in climate or just living in Seattle ;), you will want something durable and weatherproof. That’s where the more high-end fabric comes in. A few of the specialty ones are Cordura, Kodra, Dyneema, and X-Pac. Cordura is much more durable compared to canvas and nylon with great water resistance. X-Pac is weatherproof and light but more expensive.

    So, that covers the most common fabrics used in backpacks. Oh, what about those letters and abbreviations that accompany a number? VX-21? These indicate the strength or density of the materials.


    Did we miss anything? What are your packs made of? We'd love to see them, send them to us at

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